This former Wigan man is rejuvenated...

5 forgotten ballers we can’t believe are now playing in Colombia

We won’t judge you for not having your ear to the ground when it comes to Colombian league football, but we are here to suggest that you give it a chance and for good reason.

‘What on earth are they on about this time?’ is probably what you’re thinking, but just trust us. In our quest to scour the world football scene and find some of the game’s hidden gems, we’ve discovered that Colombian football has quietly become home to many ballers from several recent eras.

Barclays cult heroes, Europa League gunmen and everything between, Colombia has a bit of everything right now. Here are five big footballing names currently strutting their stuff out there.

Radamel Falcao

A series of knee injuries most definitely robbed Falcao of the chance to reach his true potential, which is frightening, because he was still absolutely electric in his pomp.

The Europa League’s third-highest scorer of all time, Falcao recently waved goodbye to Europe and returned to his native Colombia, signing for Millonarios in June.

David Ospina

After two years in Saudi Arabia keeping guard for Al Nassr, Ospina has just returned back home to his native Colombia with Atletico Nacional, the club where it all started for him.

The 35-year-old is still going strong for club and country, with 128 caps to his name for the national team.

Ospina enjoyed a renaissance in Naples after five years in a mostly backup role at Arsenal and returns to Atletico Nacional with an impressive trophy cabinet including two FA Cups and a Coppa Italia.

Luis Diaz during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Bournemouth at Anfield, Liverpool, August 2023.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Colombian to play in the Premier League?

Hugo Rodallega

Alright, enough of the boring names. Here’s the man you’re all here to see. Big Hugo, Barclays legend. Another Colombian back in the homeland, Rodallega’s career reads beautifully.

Having achieved cult hero status in England with a spell at Wigan and then Fulham, the forward spent the bulk of his career after that swapping clubs in Turkey, before heading back to South America and first landing in Brazil with Bahia.

He’s been back in Colombia with Santa Fe since 2022, though, and currently has 12 goals this season, making him the joint-top scorer. 38 years old, too. Machine.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to score 10+ Premier League goals as a teenager?

Carlos Bacca

Former Wigan man Rodallega is joint top-scorer alongside Bacca, whose career involved stints with Sevilla, Milan and Villarreal at its peak. What a world we live in.

The 37-year-old – a three-time Europa League winner who made it into the tournament’s squad of the season in 2014-15 – has been back in his homeland since 2022 following a short spell with Granada, settling into a fine groove in his second spell with Atletico Junior.

Bacca is currently sat on 12 goals in league play and 16 in all competitions, showing the bullish ability he demonstrated during his earlier years in Europe.

Adrian Ramos

We might be cheating a little bit here, but cut us some slack. Ramos, who was electric for Hoffenheim which prompted a move to Borussia Dortmund in 2014, did what seemingly every Colombian player in Europe does and returned to his former club back in 2020.

After two loan spells with Granada – one while being on the books of a Chinese side – he signed for the Spanish club permanently, before heading back to America de Cali for a second spell.

Ramos has just left the club after four years leading the line and is now available on a free transfer. Now 38, we’d be surprised if he signs for anyone outside of Colombia.